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Senator Joe Manchin from West Virginia ends up in the middle of quite a few negotiations because of his role as the centrist moderate Democrat in the Senate.
He’s up for reelection in 2024 and some speculate that he could be on his way out because of his support for the Inflation Reduction Act.
Manchin will be a top electoral target for the Republicans.
One of his possible challengers, West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, said in an interview with The Hill that Manchin “deeply disappointed West Virginians and let them down tremendously when he supported the ‘Build Back Broke’ bill last summer. That legislation really hit our state very hard. You can dress up the pig any way you want but most people in West Virginia understand that that bill is going to hurt us.”
When Manchin was asked if he had any plans to follow in Senator Kyrsten Sinema’s footsteps and leave the Democrat party, he said, “I’ll look at all of these things. I’ve always looked at all those things, but I have no intention of doing anything right now. Whether I do something later, I can’t tell you what the future is going to bring.”
While he has no immediate plans to switch parties. He reminds us, “I’m not a Washington Democrat. I don’t know what else to tell you. And if a Washington independent is — we’ll see what happens there. We’ll have to look. People are registering more for independent than any other party affiliation.
“They are sick and tired of it.
“And I can tell you that people in the United States are very upset.
“West Virginia is upset.
“They don’t like the bickering that goes on.
“They want unity.
“They want us to work together and that’s what I try to do every day.
“I don’t know how you get more independent than I am,” he said.
According to The Hill, the senator talked about what he told his Democrat colleagues when they were upset with his policy decisions.
“I said, me being a moderate centrist Democrat if that causes you a problem, let me know and I’d switch to be an independent.
“But I’d still be caucusing with Democrats,” he said at the time.
In speaking again about the issue, Manchin said, “If it is ’embarrassing’ to them to have a moderate, centrist Democrat in the mix and if it would help them publicly, I could become an independent.”
His offer never went anywhere, but with Sinema switching parties, he can hold that over Chuck Schumer’s head in future negotiations.
“I’m not threatening to leave. Why would I? I’m very secure in my positions and honestly, I’m not the one stressed out,” Manchin told The Hill.
In an op-ed written for The Arizona Republic, Sinema explained her decision, arguing, “There’s a disconnect between what everyday Americans want and deserve from our politics, and what political parties are offering.”
She and Manchin are on the same page regarding what the American people are feeling these days. Hopefully, more politicians wake up to the fact that they represent us and our interests and not their own.